The Effect of Choice Boards on Student Motivation: An Action Research Project

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Date of Award

Spring 2020


This qualitative action research aimed to examine the effects of using choice boards in a rural middle school with students enrolled in a response to intervention (RtI) mathematics class. The goal of this study was to determine whether or not giving students choice on their assignments helped increase their [students' ] motivation. Observed students were given a 3x3 or 5x5 choice board using released standardized test questions where they were able to choose a tic- tac-toe row, column, or diagonal as their assignment. At the conclusion of the study, a student participant was interviewed about her thoughts and feelings on being given choice. Based on personal observations of the students in their class as well as the student interview, I would conclude that giving students choice does indeed improve student motivation. Future research should be conducted to see if it would be more beneficial to use choice boards, such as the ones used for this study, as an actual assignment on a typical day with instruction verses using choice boards as a possible warm-up spiral review or something similar. Future research should also be conducted in the general education classroom since not all schools have a designated RtI period.


Rebecca Dibbs

Subject Categories

Mathematics | Physical Sciences and Mathematics